How to keep your shot pin high (and dry) on a Par 3

PROBLEM: You keep the ball in play, but a lack of distance puts pressure on your game.

You can expect to see a lot of balls in the water every year at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, especially at the infamous island-green 17th. Most balls there come up short of the green, which isn’t surprising when you consider that most par-3 tee shots fall short of the green. Here are a few keys to keep you high and dry on a watery par 3.

Pull a club that will get you to the back of the green if you hit the ball solidly. This way, if you make less than perfect contact, the ball is still likely to find dry land—possibly even in the middle of the green.

Don’t try to be a hero! Getting the ball into putting or chipping position with your first shot is your only goal. Forget the flagstick and take dead aim at the fattest part of the green.

Shorten your swing to 75 percent of your normal length and tempo. This will increase the likelihood of solid contact. And make sure to follow-through—get that belt buckle facing the target at the end of your swing.

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